Simple Ruffle Dress Tutorial {Shabby Apple Knock Off}

Today I am sharing this really Simple Ruffle Dress Tutorial.  
And when I say simple, I mean it.
I am totally a self taught, beginner sewer.
If I can do it…
so can you!
How cute is my little model?!  That’s my niece, B.  I have created two of these dresses for her {size 4 toddler} and two dresses for our little miss {size 6X}.
Gorgeous hey?!  
For this project {one dress 4T or 6X} you will need:
1/2 meter of fabric for the dress
1/4 meter of coordinating fabric for the ruffles
About 20″ of 6mm elastic
1 pkg of coordinating bias tape
Coordinating thread
Pins and safety pin
Seam ripper
Quick turn kit {optional}
Sewing machine
I have included my pencil sketch.  I hope that you find it helpful!  It was inspired by this 
ruffle my feathers dress from Shabby Apple.  If you have any questions along the way please email me heatherpainchaud{at}hotmail{dot}com or find me on facebook.  Here we go…
1.  Fold the fabric in half.  Using a t-shirt that currently fits your child, trace the neck and arm seams {adding 1/4″ seam allowance}.  Cut out the neck and arms.  Repeat so that you have a front and back piece.  Determine what length you want the dress and cut the bottom as desired.
2. Right sides facing, sew the shoulder seams together.
3.  Right sides facing, sew the sides together.
4.  To protect the seams from fraying serge all of the edges.  You can also fold the fabric over onto itself and then sew the seam or use a zig zag stitch along the edges as I did here.
5.  Trace the cut edge of the arm onto paper to create a sleeve template.
The curved edge of the sleeve template should be the same length as the entire cut edge of the arm hole.
6.  Cut two sleeves using the pattern that you’ve just created.  Add 1/4″ around the pattern for seam allowances.
7.  Fold over and iron the straight edge of each sleeve.  You are creating a pocket for the elastic, be sure to make it wide enough for the elastic to fit through.  Stitch the folded edge.
8.  Pin and sew the sleeve onto the dress.  Right sides facing, the curved sleeve edge is sewn to the edge of the arm hole.
9.  Using a safety pin, slide the elastic into the pocket.  Measure the circumference of the child’s arm to determine the length of elastic you need. 
10.  Tack each end of the elastic to the end of the pocket on the sleeve.  Invert the dress so that right sides are facing and sew the rest of the sleeve together.
11.  Fold, iron and hem the bottom of the dress.
12.  Cut small slits into the neckline of the dress.
13.  Sew bias tape around the entire neckline.  Try to stretch the tape as you go.  This will help the neckline to lie flat when completed.
14.  Cut 3 strips of coordinating fabric 45″ x 2 1/2″.  This length worked for both the 4T and 6X dress.
15.  Sew the edges of the strips together lengthwise.
I just discovered this quick turn tool!  It saves hours on inverting long tubes of fabric.
16.  Invert the long tubes.
17.  Iron each one so that the seam is at the back.
18.  Release some of the tension on your sewing machine and select the longest straight stitch.  Sew straight up the center of each strip of fabric using a different color of thread than you plan on using to sew the ruffles onto the dress with.
19.  Grab the bottom stitch and gently pull on it while holding the fabric.  This will create a ruffled effect with the strips of fabric.
20.  Pin the center ruffle into place.  It may be helpful to chalk a straight line down the center of the dress.
21.  Pin all three ruffles, following the center one as a guide, all the way down the dress.
22.  Sew all of the ruffles into place {be sure to adjust your tension and use your regular stitch}, straight down the center of each one.  Be careful not to stitch through to the back of the dress or create any puckers in the material.
23.  Using a seam ripper, pull out that first row of stitching that you used to create the ruffle.  For me that was the light pink thread.  Trim off all of the excess thread.
Now you’ve completed a super cute spring dress!  Easy peasy.
The girls are wearing these ones for Easter.
An elastic sleeve for the little miss.
And a quick cap sleeve {with no elastic} for B.
The girls wore these ones out to dinner the other night.  It is so fun to watch them ~ they love to match and call each other “twins”.  
I have a really, really easy Summer Shirred Dress in the works so be sure to follow along and check back in soon!
Thanks for visiting!
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